Truckies and locals can’t get enough of the wholesome food and warm welcome at Little Topar Roadhouse on the Barrier Highway in western NSW.

Story John Dunn  Photos Alan Hywood

The many truckies who pilot mammoth motors across the long and lonely Barrier Highway in far western New South Wales aren’t fazed by the lack of towns with food, drink, rest and parking facilities. They know these vital requirements are just a phone call away. Jo Lindsay will have everything ready and waiting when they arrive, even if it is after hours.

That’s the sort of service Jo and her hardworking helpers provide at the remote Little Topar Roadhouse, which stands alone on the roadside between Broken Hill and Wilcannia. It is service that extends well beyond the 6.30am to 10pm opening hours, because the truckies know if they can’t make it before closing time a message from their mobile will ensure a meal when they do arrive. It will be there, wrapped in foil, sitting on the stove. 

“These guys are regulars, they’re coming and going along this run all the time,” Jo says. She undersells herself as “just a country girl from Wanaaring, out the back of Bourke” but has culinary skills honed in the kitchens of the shearing sheds along the Queensland border.

“We’re delighted to look after the truckies; it doesn’t matter what time it might be,” she says. “They are great customers, so it makes sense to provide them with the best we have – and they’re lovely people as well. The same goes for the local station people, in fact for whoever pops in.”

This story excerpt is from Issue #127

Outback Magazine: Oct/Nov 2019